Black Is a Rainbow Color has several levels. It would be good for black history month and a book that will get people talking in general. Angela Joy realizes (as mentioned in their afterwards) that “being black” is not just skin color, but it is a culture, too. This book is aimed to educate not only her own children, but the community as well.
The narrator speaks about how black is not like the other colors of the rainbow but has its own rainbow of tones. Black is a color that is not just a color, but it is peace, love, being proud and it is the wheels of bicycles around us, it is the robes on Thurgood Marshal’s back, it is songs, it is words, it is so many different things. Black is as poetic as the text is. Famous people are seen and mentioned who have shaped black culture. This is a book that is, frankly, proud of who it represents and what its mission is.
I need to go back and read this a couple more times. It seems simple on the surface, but there are layers to it, things you might miss on the first reading. In fact, I would recommend three readings: the first to read the text, second reading to read the AMAZING illustrations and finally a third time to tie them together.
And those illustrations of Ekua Holmes are a must see even if you do not read the text. They are bold, bright, chaotic and structured. There are details on details and the right image paired with the text. They compliment the story but are their own story as well. You need to experience them on your own. I just can only gush at how awesome I think they are.
Most ages will find something in this, however, due to lack of traditional action, the younger child might not appreciate it as much as older children. Would work well in classrooms.